Poisonous Plants: [The 10 Most Dangerous in the World]

Before reading this article, you should know that we are not a website with medical specialists, so if you have suffered some kind of condition from a poisonous plant, we strongly recommend that you see a doctor immediately.

What are poisonous plants?

Although from the very origin of life on the planet,  the best recommendation to avoid a fright or death. There are species that give the opposite, because they are capable of causing a severe risk that can even lead to the death of those who come across these species.

Did you know…
Sometimes, they can be very, very dangerous for a person, not so for animals such as some birds, which are capable of consuming some poisonous seeds without suffering any damage.


Plants such as elderberry, saffron and citrus cause hemlock-like poisonings , once the most poisonous in the world, but without reaching their lethal damage.

The ivy , if chewed by a child or supplied in leaf tea, causes serious digestive disorders, excruciating headaches and back pain,  as well as sleepiness and seizures with increased body temperature.

Why are they poisonous?

Although in defense of plants, it is important to clarify that only world statistics account that only 5% of all poisoning cases are affected by the ingestion of some part of these dreaded species.


Sometimes it is also true that the case may possibly be misdiagnosed , either because the symptoms became evident hours later and it was not possible to relate the effect or consequence that toxins that contain many species leave in humans.

Many are poisonous  because they need to defend themselves from their predators or destroyers,  so that  it is highly recommended not to allow small children  they put a piece in their mouth , in a rural or country walk,   especially when they are in the oral stage and everything they get they put in their mouths.

The evolution of species, especially herbivorous animals , has allowed them to learn to differentiate which plants they must ingest to cleanse their body and also which ones are deadly and untouchable.

However, there is everything, because some poisonous plants do not affect some mammals at all , but others are lethal and their danger extends to humans.

In Spain, as of May 2004, a law came into force that includes a list of  197 species of plants whose sale to the public,  it is prohibited due to its high toxicity.


What are the most poisonous plants in the world? 

The ranking or top-ten of the 10 most poisonous plants in the world , supported by botanical experts in the world, are: 

  1. Oleander ( Nerium oleander )
  2. Hemlock ( Cicuta matulata )
  3. American licorice (A brus precatorius)
  4. Belladonna ( Atropa belladonna )
  5. Infernal fig or castor bean ( Ricinus communis )
  6. Common yew or black yew ( Taxus baccata )
  7. Ageratina altissima
  8. Common Aconite ( Aconitum napellus )
  9. Jimson weed ( Datura stramonium )
  10. Manzanillo of death ( Hippomane mancinella )


Oleander ( Nerium oleander )

Oleander takes the jackpot as the most poisonous plant on the entire planet. It has so much poison that even the honey in its nectar can kill a person without the slightest remorse.

The symptoms of its voracious attack are: vomiting and diarrhea, excruciating stomach pains, drowsiness or drowsiness and dizziness, tachycardia or irregular heartbeat until death, due to various toxins, but there is one, oleandrin, capable of acting on the heart until it stops.


Hemlock ( Cicuta matulata )

Of the entire American continent, the Hemlock is the most potent in poison.

It kills after causing severe very painful and violent seizures, vomiting, muscle tremors and cramps. If there is survival, the victim will go through long amnesic periods, so it is better not to approach him.

The toxin that is mainly concentrated in its roots is called cicutoxin and it does not play when it comes to acting.

You can find it especially in North America.

Did you know…
Did the philosopher Socrates take his life by ingesting hemlock?


American licorice (A brus precatorius)

It has some very striking seeds that have been used in jewelry and in the making of rosaries, but ayyy…! of the person who inhales one of these seeds if it breaks: the poison is so powerful that it prevents the synthesis of proteins in the body of its victim, which is fatal.

When inhaled  vomiting, fever and above all, a lot of respiratory distress because the lungs fill with fluid . But if it is ingested, it is necessary to add to this already difficult symptomatology an atrophy in the kidneys, liver and spleen that leads to death in a few days.

This deadly plant is native to Indonesia, but it spreads to tropical and subtropical climates around the world, so it is better to have respect for it and to identify its rounded red seeds and black spots very well. 

The abrin toxin, which is housed in the seed, is capable of killing an adult with as little as 3mg.


Belladonna ( Atropa belladonna )

Native to European forests, with an expansive presence in North Africa, West Asia and North America, belladonna has a powerful poison that affects the nervous system of the human being.

It paralyzes nerve endings of the involuntary muscles of the body, blood vessels, heart and gastrointenstinal muscles, as a consequence of the ingestion of toxins such as atropine and scopolamine, present in its stems, leaves, berries and roots.

To get an idea of ​​its damaging power,  with as many as 10 or 20 berries they have enough venom to kill an adult person. 

You must ask for immediate help if the following symptoms arise from bad contact with this plant: sensitivity to light with dilated pupils or blurred vision, severe headaches, confusion, and seizures. 

Inhalation of its toxins also triggers difficulty breathing, nausea, fever and vomiting, triggering fluid in the lungs, with kidney damage and the same serious damage to organs such as the liver and spleen, the affected person dying in just 3 or 4 days.


Infernal fig or castor bean ( Ricinus communis )

Famous for  castor oil, obtained from the processing of its seeds and that has such dissimilar uses as its laxative action, or the use in the manufacture of paints, lubricants and brake fluids.

Its leaves can acquire a  red or dark purple hue covered with a white powder, ricin, highly toxic. Contact with ricin will trigger vomiting , abdominal cramps and, in the worst case, internal bleeding and kidney failure leading to death.

Ricin interferes with human metabolism, because it blocks the internal chemical process that keeps cells alive, vital. Five seeds full of castor beans will be enough to kill an adult and one to kill a child.

It is native to the African continent, but has already spread throughout the world.


Common yew or black yew ( Taxus baccata )

Throughout history, this plant, native to the United Kingdom , has had many useful applications , despite its poisonous condition. Its extract is used in the manufacture of a drug, the paclitaxol , which decelerates ovarian cancer, breast and lungs.

Symptoms of poisoning with common yew or black yew are: dizziness, dry mouth, dilated pupils, extreme weakness, irregular heartbeat, thanks to the consumption of leaves and, to a lesser extent, seeds, which contain taxin, a very toxic alkaloid that can kill .


Ageratina altissima

It was famous at the beginning of the 20th century , because it was attributed the so-called «milk disease» , which affected people who consumed milk from a cow that ate this poisonous plant.

Consumption is fatal because it contains the toxin tremetol , which causes bad breath with loss of appetite, body weakness, muscle stiffness, severe constipation, vomiting, stomach cramps and subsequent  coma until the death of the victim.

This plant is born and reproduces in North America.


Common Aconite ( Aconitum napellus )

Did you know…
In Nazi Germany it was used to poison bullets and in ancient Greece shepherds smeared their arrows to eliminate wolves that attacked their sheep. So it is not easy, stumbling across a common Aconite, because without exaggeration, just touching it can be dangerous.

The symptoms of poisoning caused by this poisonous plant are: burns in the mouth, copious salivation, vomiting and diarrhea, cardiac arrhythmia, coma and later death, caused by the action of the toxin aconitin, so powerful that just 1mg is enough for kill a person weighing 80 kgs.

Lives in the European mountains.


Jimson weed ( Datura stramonium )

This poisonous American plant is found in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.

Did you know…
At the time of the so-called Spanish Conquest, it occurred to the conquerors to eat it and as they suffered hallucinations, cardiac arrhythmia, delirium and aggressive behavior until reaching a comatose state, before death, they were attributed magical powers associated with black magic , thanks to its hallucinogenic properties.

It has the power of two deadly toxins: atropine and scopolamine. 


Manzanillo of death ( Hippomane Mancinella )

It is such a poisonous plant that  just inhaling its smoke or sawdust, generates a severe cough, laryngitis and even bronchitis.

If a person comes into contact  causes blisters, burns, and inflammation And if you rub your poison-impregnated eyes, you can lose your vision .

And if ingested it will cause severe problems in the throat and in the gastrointestinal system, due to the action of 2 toxins: hypomans A and B, present throughout the tree .

It is found in Central America and the Caribbean.

How to identify a poisonous plant?

In truth, it is not an easy task but as a general rule first of all we can recommend that you never inhale, rub or consume part of an unknown plant, with striking and unknown seeds, on country walks.

Although it seems incredible, sometimes the most deadly or dangerous species hide behind a striking, exotic and even bizarre appearance, or in a delicate flower that immediately attracts attention.

Prudence and prior knowledge of the species, in case of an excursion to an unknown region , are the best recommendation to avoid a fright or death. 

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